Monday, August 11, 2014

8/11 Eagle nests, CG tech, advisory committee, BC pipe, LNG, Bainbridge sewage, fishers, porpoise, kelp, Arctic oil

Supermoon 8/10/14 (Michael Morgan)
Eagle nests in Campbell River chopped down despite wildlife laws
By law, it is illegal in B.C. to cut down the nest trees of bald eagles. In reality, however, if the nests get in the way of industrial development, the provincial government is prepared to see them sacrificed, even over the concerns of its own wildlife staff. That is what freedom-of-information documents show happened on the Campbell River waterfront this year when a company received government permission to cut down two eagle-nest trees on 13 hectares of industrial property to allow a coal-loading facility. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Cantwell says she wants Coast Guard technology beefed up during tour of Port Angeles station
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell said the Coast Guard should be equipped with the technology it needs to handle the “complexity of Washington's waterways.” Cantwell on Friday toured Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles, where she was briefed on a high-frequency radar system that measures surface currents over a large area. If implemented along the Washington coast and Strait of Juan de Fuca, the technology would enhance search-and-rescue operations and could help track oil spills and harmful algae blooms, proponents said. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee Announced
President Obama asked the Secretary of Interior to create an advisory committee to provide "information and advice" on the development of the San Juan National Monument's management plan.  While purely advisory, the committee forms an important channel to help ensure that the community's dreams for these lands are reflected in and supported by the management plan.

Burnaby launches constitutional challenge to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline plans
Kinder Morgan’s proposed twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline travels for 1,000 kilometres over mountains and around pristine parks, but the final five-kilometre stretch through Burnaby, B.C., may be the project’s toughest, as the company now faces a constitutional challenge to its plans. In a brief filed earlier this week with the National Energy Board, a lawyer for the City of Burnaby questions whether the board has the constitutional authority to override municipal bylaws that could prohibit Kinder Morgan from undertaking surveying activities in a conservation area. Justin Giovannetti reports. (Globe and Mail)

West Vancouver council to revisit call for tanker ban after vote confusion
Craig Cameron didn’t realize he’d voted to recommend a ban on LNG tanker traffic in Howe Sound until he read it in the newspaper. The article in the North Shore News reported that Cameron, a West Vancouver councillor, had been part of the unanimous vote on July 21, held after council heard a presentation on the environmental risks posed by tanker traffic heading to and from the proposed Woodfibre liquefied natural gas plant in Squamish. The decision to ask Ottawa for a ban on tankers was proposed by Coun. Nora Gambioli as part of a three-part motion that also called for council to express its concern about the LNG project and ask for West Vancouver to be part of any consultative bodies formed to discuss the proposal. Bethany Lindsay reports (Vancouver Sun)

Sewage spill closes Bainbridge Island beaches
Officials have closed the beaches at Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island to swimming and shellfish harvesting following a sewage spill. KIRO-TV reports that the spill began about 10:30 a.m. Sunday when there was a break in a sewer main on the Eagle Harbor shoreline near the state ferry terminal. The spill was stopped by 1:30 p.m. The amount of sewage spilled is unknown. Shellfish harvesting has been closed and swimming beaches are closed until further notice. (Associated Press)

Fishers making a comeback on North Olympic Peninsula
The weasel-like fisher, which was reintroduced onto the North Olympic Peninsula from 2008-10, appears to be getting around. Photos and hair samples of fishers caught in survey areas across the Peninsula show the small mammals are breeding and expanding to new territory after 90 fishers from British Columbia were released into Olympic National Park. Fishers, once native to the Peninsula, had disappeared from the state, wiped out by overhunting for their pelts, by the early 1900s. Jeremy Schwartz reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Puzzling story of harbor porpoises
Harbor porpoises are a good example of caution about statistics, otherwise known as jumping to conclusions. Sometimes researchers have to keep plugging away at solving a puzzle, one piece at a time. Washington’s harbor porpoises in inland waters were common in the 1940s in Puget Sound south of Admiralty Inlet. By the early 1970s, they were gone. “They completely disappeared and no one understands why that happened,” said Joe Gaydos, director and chief scientist of the SeaDoc Society. Sharon Wootton reports. (Everett Herald)

Bull kelp is a buoy of the ecosystem | Waterways
... One of the most amazing plants is the kelp. They are big, rubbery and amazing. They also tell an interesting story about the human effects on the Puget Sound ecosystem. Kelp is large macroalgae — seaweed — that grows along the coasts. Macroalgae are grouped generally by color: reds, greens, browns, and coraline. Kelp is brown algae. Betsy Cooper reports. (Kingston Community News)

Canada launches mission to map Arctic seabed
Canada has launched a mission to map the Arctic seabed to support its bid to extend its territory up to the North Pole. The six-week mission comes in the face of competing claims from other countries, including Russia. Two ice-breakers are setting out from Newfoundland to collect data from an undersea ridge that starts near Ellesmere Island and runs to the Pole. The region is believed to include large oil and gas reserves. (BBC)

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